Save Money While Dining Out

Save Money While Dining Out
Posted By :Lindsey Kupfer
Posted At : Wednesday, Nov 03, 2010

Staff Writer Lindsey Kupfer
Going out to restaurants has become an everyday event for many Americans. Fewer families spend dinner in the dining room talking about how their day went and more time out at a crowded restaurant. It’s extremely easy to blow your money when going out to dinner with friends and family. Instead of cutting out restaurants altogether, try these simple tricks to keep some money in your pocket.

1. Check the Deals

It is good to plan where you want to eat earlier in the week. Some restaurants have great deals depending on what day of the week you go out. Before you go to the restaurant, ALWAYS check their website for specials and current promotions. Some places will even offer days where children eat for free. Also, consider eating earlier to get the happy hour prices that most restaurants offer. Restaurant.com and Groupon.com are two great sites to go on each day. Their deals change daily offering gift certificates and discounts. Another way to catch good discounts is to follow the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter and they might post free food or coupons.

2. Cut out the drink.

It’s great to have a drink with dinner, but it also increases your bill. Even though you had a long day at work and all you want is a glass of wine or Diet Coke, just get water. It’s free and it really helps save money on the bill. If you’re still craving that drink after dinner, go to a gas station and grab a cheap bottle or a fountain drink.

3. Split the Food

If two people in your party are getting the same meal, then split it. Most meals at restaurants these days are huge portions. If you don’t like leftovers, this is the perfect remedy.

4. Skip the Dessert

It’s a tough thing to do, but it’s healthier and cheaper to just say no. Again, if you are craving some kind of dessert, head to the grocery store to grab an inexpensive treat.

5. Less People = Less Money

Putting many people on one bill will make the cost of your meal increase. Many companies add in gratuity with six or more people. With everyone trying to figure out how much money they owe, there is bound to be one person that doesn’t pay the right amount. Plus, instead of paying the tip you owe you have to pitch in more since it’s already included in the total price.

6. Take the Leftovers

Leftovers are the best thing that could happen to you at a restaurant. Always bring them home. Someone you live with or your family will eat it. You can bring your leftovers to work the next day and save more money by eating in the office.

7. Check the Receipt

Always read the fine print on the receipt. Many companies have an online survey about the service you experienced and often times offer a discount. For example, at Outback Steakhouse, you can fill out a survey and receive half off your next appetizer.

There are tons of ways to keep going out and save money at the same time. You can even pocket extra cash by eating at home and just going out for drinks and dessert. The food industry is a great place to cut back on, but not cut it out of your life completely. Use these tricks and have fun when you’re eating out without worrying about the price of the bill.

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